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Everything posted by -CB-

  1. Is that what they say? Thats a terrible tolerance. However, any machine shop with a surface grinder would be able to surface a straight edge to within .0005 over it ENTIRE LENGTH - and do so for practically nothing, as its about the easiest setup and grind there is. The only possible nix, is long throw surface grinders are not in every shop (my shop had only 18 inches of throw).
  2. No not match the body. Its just that they put "black stain" all over the silkscreen, and it just.... it just doesn't do me well. My initial feeling was it sand it all off, make it smooth, redecal, and clearcoat. And I might just do that. But fo the trouble of it all, thought an inlay might be nice. So, how to remove the overlay? Hot air from a hair drier and get in there with the parting knife? As for the BFG.... I bought it specifically to modify, both in finish and in electronics. I've posted the circuit here, and fwiw, here's the cavity (although in a sloppy "test phase", the pots have been changed, and the soldering is clean and neat now). I would never pay the $969 that the online and big box folks ask for them. Better to deal with a small dealer who sells them at reasonable profit (well well under $799). For that sort of price, it was worth it to me, and the results are unique viaually, and very special in terms of tone. The tone is really the saving grace of this instrument, as it has a lot of tone to offer, with some minor upgrades to the basic foundation of the excellent pickup combination, along with its "thinline" hollow body. I dont think I could buy one, and keep it "stock" even at "the right price", its just begging for redemption.
  3. Fullerplast is still available! Any grain filler that is compatible with your paint is going to do well. Most of them should be ok in fact. I like the StewMac filler, but only because its "clear" and I can make it any color I like.
  4. I've used Gotoh Kluson copies in the Gibson and Fender types. Used Schaller M6 mini. Used Grovers. Used Ping (that were copies of Grover's copy of Kluson). Used Ping copies of Schaller. All in all - you'd be hard pressed to find a bad tuner, and even harder pressed to find one better than Grover Rotomatic.
  5. The truss rod cover was made to match the body.... You can see I made two... and distressed one (top) and left one alone. I used the distressed one since it has the ridges and bumps like the BFG, and the light edges... similarly. Lou shows his inlay on the website. I suppose I can do that, just thought a lift and reglue of a whole veneer would be easier, and offer some choice, as you can buy those veneers with lots of different inlays in them. More suggestions?
  6. folks... This overlay is for the birds. Choices are: 1. Sand it smooth, lacquer it, decal it, and clear coat it 2. Inlay a MOP logo - I've never done those 3. Replace the overlay with a pre-inliad one #3 sounds the most appealing, but... how to get the old overlay off... just heat it and use a wide knife to get in there and separate it?
  7. So the wood will fill out? How does this work? If it wasn't on the front of the bass, I wouldn't worry so much about it. It works quite well!!! The wood is compressed with the dent. The steam gets in there and expands the wood fibers to nearly its original shape. If the fibers are broken - cut or snapped in the wood itself, steaming wont work. Usually, you get some broken fibers and some bent fibers... the bent ones straighten out and the cut or broken ones.. dont. You end up with a better situation than when you started. I just steamed out a dent in a NEW Les Paul (arrived with a nasty dent). It came up to about 85-90 percent of what the dent was. The small place left over... got hit with a bit of extra lacquer when I refinished it (bfg, begging for refinihs)
  8. Hmmm, might be time to design a switch housing that has a compression fitting that expands as you tighten. Now we're talking!~ I spose... if some kind soul doesn't come forth with it here... I'll have to see if an angled switch will fit thru the f/hole. That should be easier to just "hold from spinning" than a shorty straight one.
  9. The top is 1/4 inch thick, maple That leaves the same situation if I remove material from the top for a plate... I dont mind passing it thru... all the ES guitars do that with pots and such. Its just that pots will sort of "self grab" by way of the star washer. I'm wondering if there's room for a star washer on the switch too... I've got em big enuf for that, just that the thickness goes up....
  10. I'm hoping to cash in on everyone's vast experience here... and not have to reinvent the wheel. Here's the situation - I've got a Telecaster Thinline to build, and we want a LP toggle in the top, close to the normal LP position (sort of like a Tele Custom/Deluxe location). Warmoth is building the body, which I'll finish and assemble. So, I asked, can you put the LP route up there, with back cover. Answer was yes, and no. Yes it can be done, but the wood is so thin in that area on the back - less than 1/4 inch they said - that it leaves nearly a paper thin place to put a screw to hold a cover, and... no they'd not be responsible for chips and such. However, they did say.... you can feed the toggle thru the F/hole - it fits - and it works just fine that way. They did go on to say they leave the back thicker in the regular control cavity location just for that reason... to be able to not have chips and to hold the screws with some success. So.... thats what I planned on. Now, on a 335 body you can just reach in and hold the switch from turning when you tighten the nut. Not so on a TeleThinline when the switch is awwwaaay up in the upper bout. Been thinking, I could probably fashion a tool to hold the switch. Or just some sort of spacer on a stick if I can get an angled switch thru the f/hole. Just wanted to hear how its been done before... from you experts!
  11. You can minimize finish damage, and repair what little you cause. One of those stiff foam filled "nail boards" the ladies use work well. They're very fine abraisive. Dress the ends very carefully. You wont mess up the finish very much if you're careful... but... Go to the auto parts store, and get some white polishing compound for auto finishes. That on a rag will buff the finish back to full gloss. If the neck is semi-gloss... some very fine paper... say 600 or 800 grit... used very lightly... in a light swirl will tend to blend in a sanded finish to a satin finish. You may end up compounding the finish anyway very lightly just to give it a "little" shine. This is harder to describe than actually do.... finish damage should be very very minimal.
  12. The current limiting box is really a must have if the Variac is not in place. When I put up antennas, we use a thing called a polyphaser to protect the building from burning down, in case the antenna goes hot or gets hit by lightning. My less than esteemed associate says... hey we could save time and money if we left these out..... To which I reply - the alternative, however rare, is so absolute, so catastrophic and so complete, even at the minuscule odds, its not a risk worth taking. I mean... when you have 400+ volts DC dancing about.... thats not the time to start saying lets pull the plug QUICK. BTW, even solid wire will be a gotcha. It does that when its not a whisker, but just a stray end that you didn't thing was touching .... and touched, or was close enough to arc when hit with 450v. <--- have had that happen to me!
  13. This is pretty basic and easy wiring. If you do this with a switchcraft type "leaf" toggle, you need the one for 3pickups, or put another way, the one that has three leaves per section, not two. Those act as independant no/nc switches per switch half. In the middle position, you use pickup on the COM connection to ground thru the NC connection. In the "on" position (either side) one switch is still grounding out the pickup while the other has pickup (on the COM connection) to the NO connection, which leads to the pots end. The other end of the pot is grounded, and the wiper goes to output (both pots wipers are connected to output, and like Gibson's wiring, you'll get no volume of one pot is turned "off"). Use some caution, as some of the 3 pickup switches are a two leaf side and a three leaf side. That wont work. Both sides need to be three leaf. If you cant find a dual 3 leaf switch, just get two mixed types, and switch the halves (easy). You'll end up with what you need, plus a "normal" toggle as leftover.
  14. Well, I've managed without a Variac. Just triple check the wiring esp in the power section. Another great resource is the Hoffman forum: http://www.el34world.com/Forum/yabb2/nph-YaBB.pl Well..... it goes like this: If you don't bring things up slow, you really run the risk of few different problems, from "live" chassis (that whisker wire you didn't see), or a "boom" (that cap you had in backwards), all sorts of issues. Bringing up a SS rectified amp, I like to check the voltages when the B+ is still quite low, say in the 50 volt range. Even on a tube rectified amp, I like to throw a SS rectifier plug in there, just to bring it up with. While I'm doing that, I'll give a chopstick test to make sure everything is ok. If it all holds up, then bring it down, put the tube recto back in and bring it back up again. This is just good practice to do.
  15. Behlin, is an arm of Mohawk, and is also the maker of StewMac lacquer. I've had nothing but GREAT results with Mohawk lacquer based dyes (aerosols). Over those, I've used Deft and it seems to me to be the best aerosol lacquer on the market, in terms of ease of use, lack of blemish or fisheye, lack of blush, great flowout, easy to buff by hand.... and once its cured, VERY tough stuff. So - Mohawk aerosol dyes, Deft lacquer. Deft seems to combine well with just about any other nitrocellulose lacquer too.
  16. No argument intended... just pointing out that things are highly variable, you need to test them, and what I like, you may not. Lester=Les Paul Gibson Walnut is a medium intensity neutral toned brown that Gibson has used for a long time. You see it on older archtop backs, flattop backs, ES series from the 70's, and currently in the "faded" brown on several current models.
  17. Define "better". They're all different. I've used alcohol based, mek based, and proprietary based dyes... you have to try them out, see what works well on scrap or similar wood to the wood that needs dyeing. The last lester had a back and sides and neck from an metallic/alcohol leather dye. Matches the Gibson "walnut" perfectly. It is what works, so I use it.
  18. If you're using a nitrocellulose lacquer, then here's what I'd do. I'd get a sanding block, and sand the rear of the headstock with the chip.. but just on the chip end. I'd feather it as I went back towards the middle of the headstock. Use 320 grit paper there. Dont need to take it 100 percent to bare wood, just prelevel the finish to a great extent. Then shoot the end again with two or three coats, and level down again (can do this immediately as its a reverse from drop filling). Reshoot and level. When the bottom "rises up" to the point of being even, reshoot once more and let it sit for several weeks. You might need to relevel it one last time and reshoot it. But in this way, you're "bringing the bottom up and taking the top down at the same time, then adding more thickness. I was shown that by a custom car painter, and used it recently on an L6s top that had some screwholes that I plugged. Drop filling would have taken forever. Just be sure to use a sanding block (I use a rubber 3m one from Home Depot for this sort of thing).
  19. I went to Walmart today while on business up in Vero Beach, Fl, and said... I wonder... and sho-nuff!!!! I bought every last can of Deft Gloss they had. That's about 1 guitar worth, but I'll hit Wally down by me and clean them out too. The question was posed to Billy-Bob, a normal 16 year old fourth grade student in hillbilly country, by the new substitute teacher from a large city. Billy-Bob, can you use the word lacquer in a sentence for me? Billy-Bob replied, "Yass'm!", then said, "Hawkin I know if'n I lacquer, if'n I ain't even factor yet?". (my apologies to all those offended)
  20. The 4p3t switch is in fact a rotary. Any 4pole3throw rotary will do - assuming the physical size is ok. The company ALPHA is sold by Mouser (electronics distributor). Alpha makes a lot of different switches. Most are under $3 each. You can get "make before break" and "break before make" options on many rotary switches. Have a look at www.mouser.com and do a search on "4p3t rotary". That should get you started. Mouser part # 105-SR2511F-43RN http://www.mouser.com/search/refine.aspx?N...SR2511F-43RN%09 Price $2.20 (plus shipping) The Q-filter is great device. Its made by Bill Lawrence (the real Bill, not the folks using his name). He says its a .9hy inductor, but the ones I got both measure 1.85hy each - a GOOD thing imho, as the higher the henries (assuming low impedance) the more highs are retained. The L6s has a 1.5hy inductor, as also does the real Gibson Varitone. These can be just a bit lacking on the high end sparkle (depending on how you set it). The Q filter does the job really well, and measures about 3/4 inch square. http://www.billlawrence.com/Pages/Pickup_Window/Q-Filter.htm Note, the picture is old. Price $20.00 plus $7.50 shipping (no matter how many you buy, its only $7.50 for the whole order, flat rate). To convert a 2 conductor (1 wire with braid) to what we need is pretty simple. Generically - a. Remove the cover from the pickup, and or remove the OUTER layer of tape b. Tease the leads out from their resting place between/under the coils c. Carefully unwrap their tape d. Desolder the 1 wire with braid. The braid is connected to the pickup frame, one of the lead wires is also connected to teh pickup frame, desolder it from the frame e. Wire the leads to two wires of the 4 wire cord you've supplied. Note the white lead from the pickup is "hot" and black is now the opposite of hot (but no longer ground). I chose black and red to with red to white and black to black inside the pickup. f. Wire the bare ground wire on your cord to the frame of the pickup. g. The white and green wires can be pulled from the 4 conductor sheath if you want. Alternately... instead of wiring the bare wire to the frame, wire the green wire to the frame and just have 3 wires coming from the pickup, no sheath at all. Naturally, the green wire is ground h. Re-tape the connections and tuck the wires back safely between the coils g. Replace the covers or outer tape on the pickup (use fresh tape) What we want is not really a "4 wire" pickup, but a "2 wire, with separate ground" pickup. If you have a 2wire pickup (wire plus braid) and a 4 wire pickup, no rewiring is needed. Just use the two signal wires and keep connected those two wires that need to be connected for the pickup to work. Usually its the white and green that get tied together, with black and red being signal wires and the bare wire ground, but not always. See the following diagrams for your particular pickup brand: http://guitarelectronics.com/category/wiri...ckupcolorcodes/ Thanks for the interest!~
  21. Ditto and then some. Even if you go with a nitro-cellulose lacquer, and switch brands you'll find their formulation is quite different. They tend to not melt in as well as they should with each other. They tend to have cure/shrinkage problems with each other. They tend to "creep" up and out of holes and routings (very weird but even Frank Ford has noted this to me in email). I recently had a finish repair, and used my favorite lacquer (Deft) on it. I had a problem with the underlaying lacquer on a Gibson from the 70s'. The original finish "super-puffed" ... or really expanded when being hit with the Deft, and flowed the Deft to the edges of the repair. Then is shrank again on cure, leaving a ring. The fix was to just keep going... let it cure about three times longer than normally (about three months), then level it. Six weeks later... its holding up "ring free", but I'll keep checking it. BTW, Deft is one of the great unsung heros of lacquer. Absolutely fantastic stuff to work with, and tough as nails. Fully nitro-cellulose with flowout and anti blush built in. About all I can say is it also has a UV resist and doesn't amber with age (or should I say amber as much... takes a LONG time for it to start to amber). Lowe's quite carrying it two weeks ago.... so I'm screwed for a source right now, but its good stuff for instruments.
  22. I like it!~ It sort of reminds me of my Tacoma.... but not quite... and better. If ya ever do another, why not just shorten the fretboard by a few frets? I like the depth too. I mean... that is just so cool. Definate ++++++++!!!!~
  23. Thought I'd share this with everyone. Probably not everyone's cup of tea, but it does give very useful tones and there's not a huge volume change between the different settings (something I tend to like). I used this on my Les Paul BFG rewire. Basically you get all the normal LP (or twin pickup) tones, plus you get pickups in series for a phat tone, and pickups not quite out of phase for a Strat tone (not the thin wimpy nasal out of phase tone you normally think of). The 4p3t switch is wired like this: One of the pickups (preferably the neck) has to have its ground lifted, iow, it needs two signal wires, and a ground wire for its own hum prevention. All 4wire pickups do this. The 3wire pickups also do that. Most "braided one conductor" pickups can be converted if you're ok working on pickups. If the normal position of the rotary switch gives you out of phase tones when you're using both pickups, just reverse the red wires on the diagram. I've been using this with a p90 in the neck and HB at the bridge - the BFG setup - and very much pleased with the tones. The next Tele build will have this setup for wiring, no question about it. One thing I like about it, is you get a toggle, thats useful for live play, and gives you expected results. Yet you get some special tones too via rotary if you want them (more confusing in a gig, but not unbearably so... as was the Gibson L6s' rotary switch). The other thing - a real winner - is the Lawrence Q-filter for use as a "middle" control. It knocks out the mids, and leaves the sparkle of the highs. Amazing device (although you need to experiment with cap and resistor values a little, to best match your pickups)
  24. I'm not a fan of his by any means, but if you can find a copy of Dan Torres' book, it has all the basics you need to build a single ended 5w tube amp. If you read through all the stuff contained therein, and heed the warnings... you might just do ok. If you're building an amp, and following the design thats proven and known to work well, the most important thing you'll need to learn is how to work cleanly, make clean tidy joints, not have scraps of solder and metal shavings and such laying inside the chassis, not having excessive length of exposed leads that can short.... that sort of thing. To me, in my way of thinking, Leo had it right when he used push back wire for the wiring in his amps, as its the easiest to work with, and makes sure you don't have any exposed leads where you don't want them. Its worth the extra $$ to get that type of wire. Its also worth the effort and expense to color code your connections on your board. That is - I make my cathode wires blue, plate wires red, grid wires yellow. All the high voltage wires are red, signal yellow. For misc connections like negative feedback and screen grids I use brown. That way, when I look at a wire, I know for sure... "ok its going to the right spot". If all your colors are the same... good luck! For tube amp work, you need not only a meter, but a Variac is essential. You can get great ones used from auction places online and from surplus houses online as well. The surplus houses do a great job btw, since most of their stuff is lightly used university and govt equipment in prime shape. You know how the govt works "if we dont spend the money we lose it!" so they're always renewing their equipment, upgrading etc etc. Having a buddy stand bye while you power things up is also a good idea..... just in case you have a major issue. I've built about a dozen tube amps, and I still get the willies when I power one up for the first time... I do it slowly... on a Variac... and keep one hand in my pocket. I've had exactly ONE problem, a capacitor in backwards that went BANG!. So be careful. (btw, I now mark my boards for + and - so the caps don't do that again!)
  25. Let the newbie jump in here... About 20 years ago - I worked in a millshop, as a 2nd job, but did it six nights and one day a week.. we ran from 6 to 11 at night, and then cranked up at 7 through noon on saturday. I did this for about 2 years, eventually becoming night shift honcho over a crew of about 10 guys. We did rough cut, resaw, and final on a lot of woods, but especially cypress, which we could get as logs. Red oak, white oak, ash, redwood, mahogany, cedar, walnut, rosewood, a lot of teak. Mostly the cypress got made into thin tongue and groove for wall panels. Ran a lot of red and white oak for flooring too. By far, the worst was cypress, which would give me a bad headache and have my nose running like a faucet as soon as the saws started. Red oak was a bad irritant too, although the white oak didn't bother me a hoot. Teak could leave me drippin' too. No, we didn't use respirators, but did have an very good exhaust/vacuum system on anything that made a mess (planers, joiners, the resaw, bigger table saws, table routers). Things like radial arms and small belt sanders only had a shopvac on them. So.... it wasn't horrendous, but was dusty. BTW, grinding knives... or really any sort of steel or aluminum... gives me the same bad headache. After the millshop gig, I worked nights and weekends at a local gun range/ammo factory. Any grinding I did - like putting a beavertail on a 45 auto... man it just ruined my day, respirator or not. EDM machines do the same thing to me - and I guess its the "burnt" steel as you'd have in grinding or EDM that is the culprit. My step-brother-in-law lost most of a lung to cancer at a very early age. He was an avid woodworker, bought my dads stuff when we moved (I was a teen). He worked his way through college then ran his own millshop up in NY. Had to close it when he got sick. Never smoked more than a the occasional joint at a party. Took about 3 years after he graduated and had his own place that he got sick - so it was probably all the exposure over the years catching up with him.
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